The new bullet train that will be used during the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics has been unveiled ©Hyundai Rotem

A new bullet train that will be used to link Seoul with Pyeongchang during the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics was revealed for the first time today. 

The train, manufactured by Hyundai Rotem, was unveiled at the company's plant in Changwon during a special ceremony. 

The railway, a key aspect of the South Korean bid for the Games in 2011, was the source of controversy in 2012 after the South Korean Government were forced to deny claims they had misled the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by promising to build a direct bullet train between Incheon on the west coast of Korea and Pyeongchang on the east coast that would cut travelling time to just 68 minutes.

Visitors will still be able to travel aboard KTX high-speed trains from Incheon International Airport to Pyeongchang and then to Gangneung without having to transfer trains on special direct services, it is promised, something that will substantially cut down on the current journey times of around four hours from the airport.

South Korean officials are now predicting the journey will be done in two hours. 

Image title
The new railway line due to be opened in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will dramatically reduce travelling times between Seoul and Pyeongchang ©Pyeongchang KTX

It is estimated that the cost of building the railway line is $3.7 billion (£2.6 billion/€3.3 billion). 

Hyundai Rotem, part of the part of the Hyundai Motor Group, signed a contract with Korail in March 2014 to help deliver the service. 

The 113.7 kilometres-long Wongang railroad line will have ten trains based on the French TGV Réseau, each consisting of 15-cars operating at up to 300 kilometres per hour at maximum speed.

Each rail car set will be 201 metres long, weigh 406 tons and have seating for 410 passengers. 

Testing on the new service is due to begin next year and it is planned it will be fully operational by the end of 2017.

That would be in time for the opening of the Winter Olympics on February 9.